Richard Weiss is Green Party Senate Pick

News, Entertainment, Enlightenment
Saturday, October 1, 2022

Richard Weiss is Green Party Senate Pick

By Bob Small
Richard Weiss is an attorney who has the Green Party nod for Pennsylvania’s U.S. senate seat.  He ran before for attorney general and a judge.
He has a number of issues for which he proposes green solutions.
One solution he proposes for the Covid controversy is that “we could have hours of operation for those who want masking”.  Further on, he proposes that we could have “mask-only buses and mask optional buses”.
These may or may not be practical solutions, but they’re at least possible solutions.
He believes that we should seek to negotiate peace in the Ukraine and revoke the authorization for use of military force (AUMF) instituted on Sept. 18, 2001 in response to the 9/11 attacks.
He wants to reduce overseas bases to pre-911 levels, bring troops home and spend that (my italics) money at home. He supports the Stop Arming Terrorists Bill proposed by Tulsi Gabbard, and wants to free Julian Assange.
He wants to end civil asset forfeiture and qualified immunity, and ban fracking. 
During an extensive electronic interview he said supports approval voting which he says would eliminate any spoiler effect, backed criminal justice reform and single payer healthcare, and explained why he is running as a Green.
      “The Green Party is in favor of ending forever wars, closing oversea bases, and bringing troops back home,” he said.
      His campaign email address is [email protected].  He can be followed on Twitter @RichardLWeiss. 
Full disclosure. I’ve been affiliated with the Pennsylvania Green Party for almost a quarter of a century. They represent enough of my values that I continue to support them. If I wanted a party that supported all my values, I’d have to form one. 
Richard Weiss Is Green Party Senate Pick


Bob Small is a former chair of the Green Party of Delaware County and a past delegate to the Green Party of Pennsylvania. His blog may be found here,   

Just say no, to water/sewer privatization,19450

Published September 1, 2022


Just say no, to water/sewer privatization

If you’re a Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority customer you’ve recently received a notice they’re considering a formal acquisition of our “public water/sewer system“ totaling, an astounding $1.1 billion.

That’s a lot of cash. But there’s a catch. That money and much more will come from your pocket too.


Aqua is a corporate driven for-profit entity. Corporations have one obligation: Deliver shareholder profit. Not really an obligation to provide a quality service or product. Do you really want your water monopolized by a for-profit corporation? History shows short-term profits will preclude any concern for long-term sustainability.

Do not worry, they will not forget about you though. They will gladly build in a reliable and consistent profit margin within your future bills for their shareholders’ benefit.

This cash grab directed at our communities, no matter the outrageous cost, this will just be passed back to us as their new “customers” in time, and over time cost us more. The company is trying to buy a monopoly. It’s guaranteed money for executives and their shareholders; we all see it, clear as day.


Water is essential to all life. We must be sure to stop any takeover of our water supply and public works by for-profit entities.

Just say no, to water privatization. Go talk to your neighbors now, or it’ll cost all of us later. I recommend contacting the BCWSA directly with 5 minutes of your time. It is important they know we are against this transaction.


Dave Ochmanowicz Jr. is a resident of Richland Township, previously serving public official and co-chair of the Bucks County Green Party.

Hearing the Planes by Bob Small

Hearing the Planes
By Bob Small, August 16, 2021 
I thought maybe it was what a Blitz sounded like
in Iraq or London
so close . . .
not knowing
sleep had been split
and could not be mended
It felt next
like the start of a Doctor Who episode
but, at the end of that,
you knew all would be right
at the end of that
the Alien Life forms
would be gone, gone, gone
Finally we were awake enough to know
it was just a low flying plane
that would neither affect our property
or its value
only our peace and time
so I decided to put away
for now
my anti-aircraft words
Bob Small is a former chair of the Green Party of Delaware County and a past delegate to the Green Party of Pennsylvania. His blog may be found here, 
The Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA) is an independent political party that stands in opposition to the two corporate parties. GPPA candidates promote public policy based on the Green Party’s Four Pillars: grassroots democracy, nonviolence, ecological wisdom, and social justice/equal opportunity. For further information about GPPA, please visit Please follow GPPA on social media:
Facebook,; Instagram,; and Twitter,
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Green Party of Philadelphia Celebrates Juneteenth!


This annual holiday celebrated by the Black community in Texas and other southern states in the United States on June 19th is known as Juneteenth. It is designated as an official holiday in the United States as of 2021.

Green Party of Philadelphia

Juneteenth has been commemorated and celebrated for over 150 years by communities across the country; it is now the second year that Juneteenth is recognized as an official City holiday in Philadelphia this year. There are several programmes and events to commemorate Juneteenth.

Moreover, the Green Party of Philadelphia participated in the Juneteenth celebration in Malcolm X Park on 51st and Pine Street with other organizations. The events started with a march at 9AM, following live music sessions, and discussions. On June 19th, the Green Party of Philadelphia published a picture with the caption “Come join us at @MalcolmXPark to celebrate #Juneteenth 

During the publicity of the event, the Greens called against the commercialization of Juneteenth at a press release on their website. They have referred to an article written by Green Party and Black Alliance for Peace activist ,Margaret Kimberley, which called the most common narratives used in this appropriation usually “give dispensation to bad actors and sanitize awful truths”

The true story of the past would be kept hidden and the story of the present would be sugar coated.

-Margaret Kimberley

What is Juneteenth and how not to celebrate it ?

In the aforementioned article, Kimberley explained the historical background of the Juneteenth as such: “Juneteenth commemorates the events of June 19, 1865, when Union troops arrived in Galveston and announced that slavery ended as per General Order Number 3.

“It is an important event that ought to be remembered, but its true significance has been lost.The untold importance of the Emancipation Proclamation is that it established the right of escaped people to join the army. Juneteenth has become the latest iteration of liberal capture of Black politics, opportunistic virtue signalling, and the intentional misrepresentation of America’s history.”

Green Party’s approach

In an interview with Global Green News, Chris Robinson, leader of the communication team for Green Party of Pennsylvania and member of the Green Party of Philadelphia answered a few questions about the approach to Juneteenth among the Green Party members and “how not to celebrate Juneteenth”.

Question: On the Green Party US website, Green Party of Philadelphia stresses the fact that as Juneteenth gets designated an official holiday, it has also been appropriated and commercialized. Can you elaborate more on the tone of the Green Party towards the commercialization of Juneteenth?

Chris Robinson: We have all witnessed the commercialization of the Birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. since 1994. Instead of celebrating and emulating King’s life of resistance and struggle, MLK Day is now called “a day of service.” We are being taught by the government and media to celebrate King’s life without including King’s opposition to militarism or his leadership of mass demonstrations. They have tried to erase from our memory King’s work for civil rights and labor union rights. Many people, along with Green Party members are concerned that the same thing will happen with Juneteenth, now that it has become a national holiday.

Question: Considering the demonstrations against the ongoing and uprising racial injustice that happened last year, where do you think Juneteenth should be situated? Should it be an opportunity to discuss these racial injustices, or should it be a “feel good” day with celebrations?

Chris Robinson: The Green Party believes that Juneteenth should be seen as a counter-celebration to the Fourth of July. Unfortunately, the Fourth of July celebrates a freedom, which was declared by slaveholders in 1776. That declaration left four million citizens in slavery. Juneteenth, on the other hand, has historically been understood and celebrated as a rebirth of freedom. The heritage of slavery still haunts U.S. society in the form of institutional racism and xenophobia. The Green Party will work to commemorate Juneteenth as a day of resistance against oppression instead of a substance-free feel good day. 

If you are interested in events organized by the Green Party US, check out their calendar.

For the City of Philadelphia Juneteenth celebrations and more information on their Juneteenth programme, click here. 

Zeynep Karageldi

Zeynep is from Izmir, Turkey. She is a second-year undergraduate student at McGill University in Montreal pursuing a BA in Political Science. Passionate about environmental science and environmental law, Zeynep likes to address issues from both scientific and political perspectives as a writer. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies and traveling. 

Green Party candidate hopes to shake up Pittsburgh council


Green Party candidate hopes to shake up Pittsburgh council

 | Wednesday, May 26, 2021 4:00 p.m.
Connor Mulvaney

A Green Party candidate for the Pittsburgh City Council seat held by Anthony Coghill is hoping to capitalize on a progressive movement that propelled state Rep. Ed Gainey to a win over Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto last week.

“People in Pittsburgh and across the country are beginning to realize we need bold change and we can’t wait for the same old boys to do it for us. We are here to make it for ourselves,” Connor Mulvaney said Tuesday evening. He was speaking at a kickoff to his campaign, livestreamed from the war memorial cannon in the city’s Brookline neighborhood.

Mulvaney, 28, of Brookline, has the support of the Democratic Socialists of America’s Pittsburgh chapter, the same group that supported state Reps. Summer Lee and Sara Innamorato in their 2018 Democratic primary victories over established incumbents Paul Costa and Dom Costa.

Lee and Innamorato supported Gainey in his victory over Peduto in the Democratic primary last week.

Mulvaney, a bicycle technician who works in Robinson, is also a community organizer who has worked with Re-imagine Beaver County. He’s also active in the South Hills Safe Streets group, he said.

“This campaign has fully embraced the fact that we’re a third-party movement outside of the local political establishment,” Mulvaney said. “There are people out there who aren’t super voters who also have concerns and interests and are willing to mobilize.”

He and his supporters will be knocking on doors and meeting with people who live in District 4’s neighborhoods, which include Beechview, Bon Air, Brookline, Carrick, Mt. Washington and Overbrook.

Mulvaney said he believes people deserve good housing, good health care, a clean environment and a promising future — the bedrocks of what the Green Party stands for.

“We have to imagine a better Pittsburgh for ourselves and those that come after us,” he said.

Coghill is finishing his first term on council. Last week, he fended off a challenge from Bethani Cameron in the Democratic primary, winning with 62% of the vote, according to unofficial results.

Coghill has said he approaches serving on city council from the viewpoint of a contractor.

“I’m a contractor by trade. When I came in, I came in with the mentality of a contractor,” said Coghill, the founder of a roofing company. “I need four more years to finish what I started.”

Copyright ©2021— Trib Total Media, LLC (

George Floyd Anniversary

On the anniversary of George Floyd's death, here is a recent press release written by Green Party of Philadelphia GPoP City Committee member Justin Bell reacting to the Derek Chauvin verdict.

I was sitting in traffic today on Roosevelt boulevard when the verdict came in: Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd. When I heard it I had trouble processing it. It wasn’t until my wife called me crying because she couldn’t believe it was real, that I started to believe it was real. After I got off I looked around to see if any other cars were listening or having reactions. I was disappointed that everyone looked miserable and wasn’t honking. For a moment I felt victorious. Overwhelmed by the power of the people who refused to get out of the way when the police told them to move. I saw two older ladies flanked by the National Guard during the height of COVID. One pushing the other in a wheelchair. They had put themselves in a situation of great risk and they had won.

Green Party of Philadelphia
May 25, 2021

Yet, almost out of nowhere, I started to feel sadness, as a name I hadn’t thought of in a long time crossed my mind. Sean Bell. In 2006, plainclothes officers fired 50 shots into his car, killing him the night before his wedding. All the officers on site were acquitted. No weapon was ever recovered. I remember just thinking: 50 shots!? It was total overkill--literally. That is the first time I realized that a gun and a badge meant you could get away with murder.

Half-listening, I heard someone on the radio get asked for their reaction to the Chauvin verdict. They attributed the guilty verdict to Darnella Frazier’s excruciating video, shared throughout the world. That made me sad too. It reminded me of Eric Garner. I watched that video dozens of times, holding back tears. How could they choke a man until he died for selling loose cigarettes? That was the first time we heard “I can’t breathe” as a slogan heard round the world associated with the police murder of an African American person. Why hadn’t the video been enough to convict the monsters who took his life?

Chris Robinson, a Green Party member from Philadelphia (Ward 59) explained, "I have been horrified by the number of murders carried out by the police around the U.S. As of May Day, there had only been three days when a cop did not kill someone. During that period, Black citizens were three times more likely to be killed by police than white citizens, and murdered Blacks were more likely than whites to be unarmed. This has got to stop!"

Belinda Davis, chair of the Green Party of Philadelphia, points out that “community control of policing, as advocated by the Green Party of the U.S., has the best prospect of any single measure to meaningfully challenge the rampant murder carried out by police--in the U.S. and beyond.” She adds that, of course, this is only one of a suite of measures that politicians must institute--and that activists must demand.

So, all I’m saying is, enjoy your moment. This verdict has been such a long time coming--but remember this is just one stepping stone. The system of policing has been racist since its inception, so just turning back the clock won’t help: quite the contrary. This requires either abolition or a complete reimagination of police work. This requires politicians who are strong enough to withstand the criticism, and brave enough to listen to protestors, and put forth laws that will actually make people’s lives better.

Wayne County PA Greens Oppose Fracking


Monday, May 24, 2021


Chris Robinson
267-977-0570 and [email protected]  


Green Party of Wayne County, PA, Opposes Fracking

Chris Robinson, a Green Party of Philadelphia member, asked what issues were important to other PA Greens. Below is one response.

By Beverly Beers, chair of Wayne County Green Party.


In response to your question about a concerning issue in my area, I would say that for some time it has been fracking in the Delaware River Basin. We just won a long-standing battle at the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC). The DRBC voted on February 25 to ban fracking in the Delaware Basin.

Here is what NPR said, “All four basin states — Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and New York — voted to ban the practice, citing scientific evidence that fracking has polluted drinking water, surface water, and groundwater. The vote prohibits gas drilling in northeastern PA and southern NY State, where Marcellus Shale gas deposits are limited to about one-third of the basin.” 

I was dismayed, however, to see that the township supervisors of Dyberry, where I live, have joined a lawsuit against DRBC to protect land-owners rights. Similarly, the Wayne County Commissioners voted 2-to-1 to join the same lawsuit. The Tri-County Independent said it was “a rare moment of disagreement” for the commissioners’ vote to be split. Up until 2021, our commissioners have always been Republican businessmen or farmers.

Newly elected Commissioner Jocelyn Cramer cast the dissenting vote. Last year, Green Party members helped elect Joss as commissioner. (She won by just 10 votes.) I believe she is the first woman commissioner and has stated her belief in preserving the natural beauty of our area. In fact, Joss now calls herself “the environmental commissioner.”

This area has traditionally been a farming and dairy area, though Wayne County is becoming more and more a tourist destination. So there is an economic argument to oppose fracking, as well as health reasons. As you probably realize, many struggling farmers hope to get money from fracking leases on their land. My own family has lived in Dyberry for 6 generations, though I am not actively engaged in farming at present. As a member of the Green Party and a constituent of Dyberry township, I do not feel the supervisors’ or the commissioners’ decision represents myself or others who wish to preserve the Delaware River Basin.

The Green Party of Wayne County meets at 3:00 pm on the last Saturday of each month. You may learn more right here,


For more information, please see:

“Wayne Commissioners Vote to Join Suit against DRBC” by David Mazzenga, Tri-County Independent, January 30, 2021,


“Delaware River Basin Commission Votes to Ban Fracking in the Watershed” by Susan Phillips, State Impact PA, February 25, 2021,


“PA Greens Push for an End to Fracking” by Matt Nemeth, Green Party of PA News Release, October 4, 2020,; and 


“Pennsylvania and Fracking,” Global Energy Monitor, April 30, 2021,

Reflection on the 2020 Election by PA Green Party Candidate Michael Bagdes-Canning

Green Party of Pennsylvania
Wednesday, December 11, 2020
Chris Robinson, Communication Team
267-977-0570 and chrisrecon@netzero.
Reflection on the 2020 Election by PA Green Party Candidate Michael Bagdes-Canning
Michael Bagdes-Canning ran as the Green Party candidate for election to PA House District 64. Bagdes-Canning was already an elected member of the Cherry Valley Borough Council in Butler County. Chris Robinson, co-leader of the Green Party of PA (GPPA, communication team, interviewed Bagdes-Canning to discover what he learned about being a candidate for the GPPA.
GPPAMichael, We would like to hear your thoughts about your campaign for PA District 64. I see that you did really well, pulling 5,584 votes. Good Job!

Bagdes-CanningThank you, Chris. It has been little more than a month since Election Day. I am still processing what happened. One thing is obvious, I did not get elected. In a highly charged election cycle, I received 20% of the vote. 
This can be looked at in a few ways. We could say that my vote total soared from the 2% I got in 2016 to the 20% I got this year: AMAZING! Or we could say that I significantly underperformed because Joe Biden got around 31% of the vote in PA District 64, but I only got 20%: BUMMER!
I think the truth lies somewhere in between. One thing is certain, I knew on Election Day morning that we were in for a rough ride: there were record-breaking lines at polling places and lots of talk about only voting for Republicans.

GPPAWere there lessons, Michael, that you learned from running for Cherry Valley Borough Council, which helped you this year?
Bagdes-Canning: This race, Chris, was a learning experience for me. I have been on the Cherry Valley Borough Council since 1989. Twice before, I have run for higher profile offices (Butler County Commissioner in 2015 and this same seat, PA House District 64, in 2016). This race was nothing like running for Cherry Valley Borough Council. I know my neighbors, and they know me. 
GPPACan you tell if your name recognition as a member of the Borough Council helped pull votes for you?
Bagdes-Canning: I am fairly well known in Butler County. I have a high profile because I have been “in the news” for the last 40 years. My campaigns, my seat on Cherry Valley Borough’s Council, my letters to the editor of the local paper, and my “activism” around fracking, anti-discrimination ordinances, and several direct action campaigns I have organized, have given me a fairly high profile.

However, because of the way the district is drawn, my part of Butler County is a small appendage of PA District 64, but it is a very Republican stronghold. Most of the district is in Venango County, well outside my wheelhouse. Even in Butler County, even in Cherry Valley, this election was different. Voters were focused on the Presidential race, and many people voted only for Republicans. In the past, for my two higher profile races, I won Cherry Valley and did relatively well in other Butler County precincts. This time, it was a dead heat in Cherry Valley. In Butler County, I got a lower percentage of the vote than I did in Venango County (but better than my last runs).
GPPAPlease give us an idea of what went into your campaign?

Bagdes-CanningWell, Chris, we were able to raise a significant amount of money, seven times what the incumbent raised in the cycle and more than all of his previous challengers combined. We ran a spirited campaign, had a robust web presence, and a surprisingly good ground game and phone banking operation.
When I talked to people, our message resonated. I’m not suggesting that it resonated with a majority of voters, but it did resonate with many of the voters, even people who did not vote for me. I think that is significant because I did not specifically seek out like-minded voters. These were voters that I bumped into on the street, voters I met at their doors when we were distributing literature, voters I met standing in line on Election Day.
First, my platform was unlike ANYTHING that a Democrat or a Republican has run on in this area. We ran on a Green New Deal, Medicare For All, government you can trust, a living wage, protected and expanded civil liberties, water you can drink, and education that is educational. We ran on these things because these are issues that resonate with folks in this region. We’ve been hemorrhaging jobs and young people for the last 40 years, we are dealing with the toxic legacy of the oil industry and fracking, our schools and colleges are underfunded, and we work harder for less and are more impoverished than much of the state. Specifically, our messages around anti-corruption and jobs seemed to touch people.

Second, we reached new people. We developed a productive relationship with a couple groups of young people, students from local high schools and twenty-somethings organized into the Oil Region DSA. The former were a huge part of our local ground game. The latter were part of a direct action we pulled off at my opponent’s local office.
Third, we built some bridges toward some of the mainstream movement groups: Indivisible We Rise, Our Revolution, Food and Water Action, Sunrise, and other groups. Those bridges were not enough to energize many of them to become volunteers, but they were aware of our campaign. We were also able to forge a good working relationship with the two county Democratic Party Committees. They did not endorse us, but they did help us (particularly the Venango County Democrats). 
GPPADid you have volunteers at some or all of the polls in District 64 on 11/3?
Bagdes-CanningOn Election Day, we had people working the larger polling places in Venango County. We were the ONLY campaign to have anyone at polling places (according to a reporter and a Venango County Sheriff). We did not have enough volunteers to cover all of the polling places.
GPPADo you plan to run again, Michael, in 2022?
Bagdes-CanningGiven all that has happened, I think it will be important to have someone run in 2022. We built the infrastructure, and we have a better understanding of the political topography of the district. I am not sure that I am the person to carry the flag forward. I will be 69 in 2022. I am committed to helping, and I am not walking away from my homeplace. We need change. I have already committed to carrying on a conversation about the issues raised by the campaign and, I hope, in the next year we will find a candidate willing to champion those issues.
GPPAAssuming that mail-in voting remains popular, Michael, how will that affect any future campaigns?
Bagdes-CanningVoting by mail impacted our race, Chris. We spent most of July petitioning and most of August building the campaign infrastructure. By the time we rolled out our campaign in earnest, many people were already voting. I remember dropping door hangers off in Oil City and having a voter say that he had already voted, that he wished he had known that I was running. We got a late start and were constantly trying to catch up. We did much in a short time, built a strong foundation for the future, and made some good connections.
GPPAWhat advice do you offer to those who plan to run in 2022?

Bagdes-CanningNo matter what, I would recommend starting right now. Start reaching out to the people you need to staff your campaign. Start raising awareness. Build your network. Build enthusiasm. Identify important people. Do not wait.
I did not decide to run until I heard that the incumbent was running unopposed. That was in April. We did not leave ourselves enough time to make ourselves known. Even during the last week of the campaign, I would still run into people who had no idea I was running.
Do not assume that you are going to be able to generate buzz simply by announcing you are in the race. The pandemic limited our opportunities to engage in “normal”� campaign activities. Therefore, we had a tough time getting nominating petitions signed, meeting voters at events (they were all cancelled), or even knocking on doors. Many voters had already voted by the time that we were rolling out our campaign.
GPPA: I think you did a great job, Michael, were you satisfied?
Bagdes-CanningMy campaign, Chris, was as strong as it was because of the people around me. I have always referred to the campaign as “we”� because I was merely the face of the campaign. Obviously, you need a face, but if you do not have a team behind that face then 2% of the vote will be a realistic goal. Without the campaign team, I would not have been capable of running the robust operation that we rolled out. For instance, we aggressively used social media with some really sophisticated video. This old dog tripled his Twitter following and opened an Instagram account.
So, my take-aways: Start early; build your local literacy and become conversant on local issues; build a team; build local infrastructure; and engage young people. Don’t waste too much time on endorsements that will not provide tangible support; figure out a strategy that is not dependent on local media; and make your own media.
The thing I am most excited about, moving forward, is connecting our Green Values to the other movements in my district. What we are for is what many people are craving.
The Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA) is an independent political party that stands in opposition to the two corporate parties. GPPA candidates promote public policy based on the Green Party’s Four Pillars: grassroots democracy, nonviolence, ecological wisdom, and social justice/equal opportunity. For further information about GPPA, please visit Please follow GPPA on social media: Facebook,,  and Twitter,
Photos of Michael Bagdes-Canning are available here,
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Judge Diamond's Big Miscalculation

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 
Judge Diamond's Big Miscalculation
--By Emily Cook.
      Many Greens are aware that Jill Stein sued the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania following the 2016 election to reveal that voters could not demand a recount of voting machines that were unverifiable. The subsequent settlement, among other things, required a true paper ballot. Once the counties started purchasing the machines, Stein’s committee found that the Election Systems & Software ExpressVote XL (ES&SXL) did not provide a true paper ballot. She therefore reopened the settlement in November 2019.  I was a plaintiff as well an observer in the courtroom in the reopening of the settlement. I also observed the mostly thankless role which Jill Stein had in doing what was right for the voters. Judge Paul S. Diamond released his opinion on April 29, and it was not favorable.
      With the pandemic disrupting most aspects of civic life, one might feel that the prospect of voting in person at a polling station is dangerous and/or even irrelevant. The paper ballot problem is only temporarily resolved by mail in ballots. Troubles remain with these machines and these troubles will return to haunt the public in every election following the pandemic. Undercounting has already been shown in Northampton County, PA. Without a true paper ballot, we still do not have verifiability of the vote in many counties in the Commonwealth.
      Jill Stein’s challenge to decertify the ES&SXL in Federal Court just preceded the pandemic. The judge asserted that Jill Stein’s “co-Plaintiffs have played no discernible role.” He then unfairly proceeded to dump on Jill Stein, feeling there was no one else.
      In Judge Diamond’s courtroom, I felt the scene would have pleased central casting for a John Grisham book-to-movie. There were state officials playing their role, evasive and unhelpful.  The judge was, for his part, hostile to our counsel throughout. Once he even barking at them, “Don’t waste my time,” as if they were unruly children. Diamond openly chatted with the defense and interfered far less with their arguments than ours. Must he have been so obvious?
      Diamond also snarked in his opinion that this “litigation appears to have created a single benefit that would not otherwise have been conferred: the payment of $150,000 to Stein’s lawyers.” Any decent judge knows better than to comment about professional fees in an opinion. It’s unprofessional, and it shows pettiness. A simple perusal of Diamond’s own career reveals he was probably more than compensated as an attorney coming up. Such wisecracks belong in chambers or in the local courthouse watering hole.
      What was not allowed in the case -- or was outside its scope – was the long, ugly process by which the Philadelphia City Commissioners, for example, took money from the poorest city in the country to purchase voting machines that are demonstrably hackable, that do not use true paper ballots and are more overpriced than superior machines used in other parts of the state. Last year City Controller Rebecca Rynhart was compelled to criticize the Commissioner’s courtship with ES&S, going as far back as 2013. Organizations like Protect Our Vote Philly along with a coalition of other concerned voters have been protesting the purchase of the ES&SXL for quite some time. The City of Philadelphia nevertheless bulldozed through, unchallenged, unfazed and unaccountable. Voters may not be paying attention now, but just wait until the next close election.
      Judge Diamond’s opinion will, therefore, go down in history as one big, bellicose miscalculation. He will have to own it once the machines start failing or voters demand recounts.  We had every right to reopen the settlement based on violations of the agreement in our original case. Without true paper ballots, PA’s inability to verify the vote remains. It will be voters who lose because they deserved a fair and reliable voting system no matter who brought the lawsuit. 

      Lastly, the Federal courtroom is not the judge’s own living room, no matter how unscrutinized his work often is. Ultimately, the court belongs to the public seeking justice. We didn’t get it with Diamond. Instead, we got the rantings of a court pushed to understand something beyond their ability. Although Jill Stein and the Green Party are accustomed to excessive and largely undeserved criticism from all quarters, a legal opinion should require reason. Stein, trying to do what was right, didn’t deserve such piling-on in this thankless pursuit.

      Emily Cook is a former chair of the Green Party of Montgomery County, PA, and a former delegate to the Green Party of Pennsylvania.


For more information:

“WI Court Again Rules for Stein Recount, As PA Court Ridicules Election Integrity,” statement from Jill Stein for President Recount Team, May 1, 2020 election_integrity; 

How PA's election security lawsuit led to the challenge of the state's top-selling touchscreen voting machine” by Emily Previti, PA Post, December 10, 2019,; and

Stein recount campaign files motion to enforce PA settlement agreement, decertify unverifiable voting machines,” news release, Jill Stein for President Recount Team, November 26, 2019,   

Third Parties File Covid Suit Over Pennsylvania Ballot Rules

Bloomberg Law, Friday, May 15, 2020

      Pennsylvania’s requirements for in-person signature collection for third parties to qualify for the November ballot are unconstitutional in light of the Covid-19 public health emergency, the state’s Libertarian, Constitution, and Green parties argue in a new federal lawsuit. The parties should be allowed access to the ballot without the in-person signatures, because it will be nearly impossible or very unsafe to collect them, they argue.
      The state classifies “minor political parties” as those that received less than 15% of total statewide registration, and “political bodies” as groups that don’t pass a certain threshold of votes cast in the most recent general election. Candidates of such parties must collect a certain number of voter signatures, which varies based on the elected office, for their candidates to appear on the general election ballot. These signatures must be collected and witnessed in-person. The deadline to turn in these signatures this year is Aug. 3.
      “The public health emergency caused by COVID-19 and the various ‘stay at home’ orders issued by Governor Wolf make it unlawful and practically impossible to gather signatures for nomination papers in Pennsylvania,” the plaintiffs argue in their suit filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
      Even if the emergency measures are lifted before the deadline, it will remain difficult “if not practically impossible” to collect the required signatures without endangering the health and lives of petition circulators, potential signatories, and the public at large, they say. The plaintiffs argue that there are safer and less burdensome alternatives to in-person signature collection, such as online petitioning.
Causes of Action: First Amendment, equal protection and due process clauses of Fourteenth Amendment.
Relief Requested: Order the state to accept candidates’ nomination papers without the signatures.
Response: The office of Governor Tom Wolf (D) didn’t immediately respond to Bloomberg Law’s request for comment. The office of Kathy Boockvar, secretary of the commonwealth, declined to comment on the pending litigation.
Attorneys: The plaintiffs are represented by Anderson & Labovitz LLC.
The case is Libertarian Party of Pa. v. Wolf, E.D. Pa., No. 5:20-cv-02299, filed 5/14/20


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